Government considers student drug test nationwide amid rising expenditure on drug-related cases

The government spent about Nu 538 M on individuals apprehended in drug-related cases last year. This was shared by the prime minister during the Meet the Press session on Friday. The Prime Minister said that the government is committed to implementing and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy on drug abuse. He called for collective efforts to fight drug-related cases.

The prime minister attributed the increase in drug-related cases over the years to the heightened efforts by the police. He added that the government has discussed with the Office of the Attorney General to expedite the handling of drug-related cases in courts.

“When students use drugs, it not only harms them but also other students. This can potentially ruin lives. Therefore, the government is considering implementing drug tests for all students nationwide. So, everyone, especially students need to avoid using drugs. If teachers, parents, the community, government, police, the PEMA secretariat, hospitals and prisons all work together, we can tackle this pressing concern which is one of His Majesty’s biggest concerns.”

In addition, the prime minister expressed concerns about potential prison overcrowding if the country does not accelerate efforts to combat drugs.

“If we do not exempt any individual in drug-related cases without consideration, our prisons will be filled with drug abusers. So, we have to expand and refurbish the prisons, and also provide skill development opportunities to the inmates. And it’s the responsibility of the authorities concerned.”

Over 6,000 individuals were arrested in drug-related cases last year, with the highest numbers reported in Thimphu, Phuentshogling and Sarpang.

Kinzang Lhadon

Edited by Sonam Pem

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